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Planned French arms sale to Pakistan held up

April 03, 2010

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PARIS, April 2 France's plan to sell 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) equipment for Pakistan's JF-17 combat aircraft has been held up, a source at President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said on Friday.

Newspaper Le Monde had reported earlier that France decided to suspend the sale of electronics and missiles — the first section of a 6 billion euro contract — under pressure from India and uncertainty over Pakistan's finances.

“It's a deal that's not ready from the Pakistani side,” the source said, without giving further details.

“For now, the state of the dossier doesn't allow us to carry on with it.”

A consortium made up of French company ATE, arms group Thales and missile manufacturer MBDA was supposed to produce the equipment, Le Monde said. Thales declined to comment.

France was also worried over insufficient protection of its technology, with Pakistan pushing to assemble the equipment on its soil, the paper said.—Reuters